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New tertiary education system taking shape

2 October 2001 Media Statement

New tertiary education system starting to take shape

The key building blocks of a new refocused tertiary education system are starting to fit together and will all be in place within nine months, says Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey.

Mr Maharey told delegates to the Association of Staff in Tertiary Education annual conference today that the Government inherited a tertiary education sector in crisis and has quickly set about building consensus with all stakeholders on the way forward. He said all the components of the new tertiary education system would be in place by July 2002.

"There is now widespread consensus that the Government has got the prescription for a refocussed tertiary education sector right. The Tertiary Education Advisory Commission has consulted extensively with tertiary educators and students, business groups and other stakeholders and the Government is implementing its recommendations.

"We have been actively working with the casualties of National's failed education marketplace to bridge those institutions successfully into the new system. Three regional polytechnics at severe risk of closure have been put on a secure footing and we are currently working to preserve quality tertiary education provision in Wanganui.

"Greater support has been provided to students so that they are able to begin tertiary study. For example, increasing the support available to beneficiaries through the Training Incentive Allowance and the considerable additional investment made in industry training opens our education system to students who would otherwise miss out and gives them the ability to participate in the new economy.

"In July 2002 the permanent Tertiary Education Commission will come into being and it will have responsibility for the integrity of the entire tertiary education sector.

"In Labour's tertiary education policy, Nation Building, we said we would harness tertiary education as a key tool promote the social and economic development New Zealand needs to face the challenges of the 21st Century. This goal is being realised," Steve Maharey said.

ENDS

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